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    Items from the personal collection of the Nobel Prize winning economist and political philosopher Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992) come up at an online sale at Sotheby’s from March 8-19. From his Nobel Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom, to his typewriter, writing desk, and personal annotated version of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, the dedicated online sale is timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary this month of the publication of Hayek’s seminal publication, The Road to Serfdom.

    Hayek’s explanation of the relationship between market forces and personal freedom, among his other theories, had a profound impact on the shaping of the modern world. From the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the governments of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, Hayek’s theories influenced some of the major political moments in Western history.  In more recent years, his conflicting views with rival economist John Maynard Keynes about how to conquer the Great Depression were brought into sharp focus following the economic crash of 2008.

    Born in Vienna in 1899, Hayek’s family was part of the city’s intellectual elite: his father was a doctor with a keen scholarly interest in botany; both of his grandfathers were scholars and his mother the first cousin of prominent Austrian philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein. The civilisation of Hayek’s childhood disintegrated with World War One and his youth was inevitably marked by service in the artillery in the brutal Mountain War on the Italian Front. In later years Hayek preferred to recall these years by telling of his hapless attempt to deliver a transport of live eels to the front, but he also acknowledged how the war profoundly shaped his outlook and his resulting theories.

    The Nobel Prize awarded for Economic Science in 1974

    Friedrich August von Hayek

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